Stress management is a priority for many people. Although it’s a natural response to pressure, over time, chronic stress can lead to poor mental and physical health.
In uncertain times, in particular, it’s important to understand how to manage stress using a range of techniques, such as exercise, mindfulness, and diet.
Now, in a new study carried out at the Edith Cowan University, researchers have found that consistently including fruits and vegetables in your diet could lower stress levels.
The researchers looked at the benefits associated with these foods. They discovered that eating 470 grams a day of fruits and vegetables could contribute to less stress overall.
Researcher Simone Radavelli-Bagatini said, “Vegetables and fruits contain important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and carotenoids that can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and therefore improve mental well-being.
Inflammation and oxidative stress in the body are recognized factors that can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and lower mood.
We found that people who have higher fruit and veggie intakes are less stressed than those with lower intakes, which suggests diet plays a key role in mental well-being.”
During the study, the researchers analyzed data from over 8,600 people. The participants reported on their diets and stress levels to determine if there were any links.
They found that a diet rich in vegetables and fruit was linked to improvements in overall stress. And, those that ate a pound each day experienced a 10% reduction.
This is important, as it shows that, in the long-term, living healthily can be beneficial in improving consumers’ mental and physical health.
Simone Radavelli-Bagatini added, “Long-term and unmanaged stress can lead to a range of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety, so we need to find ways to prevent and possibly alleviate mental health problems in the future.”
“The study’s findings emphasize that it’s important for people to have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to potentially minimize stress.”